Tony Edwards - By The Way @ Museum of Sydney

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    Tony Edwards
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Tony Edwards - By The Way

Travel pulls the rug of familiarity from under your feet; it makes everything fresh, mysterious and more vivid. It is the perfect cure for flagging inspiration. We piece together a feeling for a new place from a myriad discrete and seemingly unrelated elements, be it a particular bend in the road ahead, the stillness inside an ancient church, the sound of a gently flowing stream, the musty smell of a village bookshop, the unexpected kindness of a stranger or the curious sense of familiarity about places you've never been to before. None of these things can be painted, but they do inform art, and if painting is to have some sense of the ineffable, it helps to experience the tiny wonders of everyday life in a foreign land. The United Kingdom and Sicily have little in common, although both are a painter’s dream. The grass is greener on England's hills – the countryside sometimes redolent of chocolate-box art – but the sense of a turbulent past is ever present in Sicily. Perhaps the glowering presence of Etna underlines the fragility of life. Sicily offers dreamlike beauty in its baroque towns, side by side with the dreary plainness of postwar development. Tony Edwards took thousands of photographs while travelling through the United Kingdom and Sicily, and curiously, those he found exciting at the time now seem prosaic. Conversely, shots he has no recollection of taking have become the basis for many of the finished paintings included in this exhibition.


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